Reserve Sergeant James Milton Johnson

Reserve Sergeant James Milton Johnson

Forsyth County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina

End of Watch Thursday, November 11, 2004

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James Milton Johnson

Reserve Sergeant James Johnson was shot and killed after being confronted by an armed suspect in front of his home.

The suspect had a long standing disagreement with his neighbors over property boundaries. The man had moved from the property earlier in the month, but returned with a rifle and murdered the couple he was in the dispute with.

The killer then confronted Reserve Sergeant Johnson and his 10-year-old grandson. Reserve Sergeant Johnson was able to distract the killer, which allowed his grandson to escape into the house and notify his grandmother, who called police. When deputies were dispatched to the scene, Reserve Sergeant Johnson's son-in-law, who was a full-time deputy and off-duty, learned of the call and immediately responded to the scene.

In the meantime, Reserve Sergeant Johnson attempted to diffuse the situation but at some point was shot. When his son-in-law arrived at the scene, he encountered the assailant and became engaged in a shootout and was wounded.

The 59-year-old killer was also shot and wounded by return fire. He was taken into custody and charged with three counts of first degree murder and one count of attempted capital murder. The action of the two deputies were credited with preventing the killer from murdering the couple's 5-year-old son, who was in the home at the time of the shooting.

The suspect was convicted of three counts of murder and sentenced to life in prison. He died in prison September 8th, 2018.

Reserve Sergeant Johnson is survived by his wife and three children. He had served with the Forsyth County Sheriff's Department for 7 years, and had previously served with the Kernersville Police Department in both full-time and part-time capacities for 28 years.


  • Age 59
  • Tour 35 years
  • Badge 273

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Died in prison

Most Recent Reflection

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Happy Father's Day, daddy. I wish I could just give you a card and a hug instead of leaving a reflection. I'm sure you know, but I did it! I finished grad school and I have a Master's in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner! I wish I could see your face when I stand in my cap and gown adorned with honors cords and stole. I pray the Lord will allow you and my boys to watch me walk across the stage. Thank you for always believing in me, daddy.

Your oldest granddaughter is going to be a K-9 SA soon, walking in the footsteps of you, Jeremy and Matt! I'm so proud of her! And baby Katie is at college orientation today. I don't know how that's possible! I look forward to heaven where there's no linear time and nobody grows old. How amazing that must be! Jordan is great, working so hard to provide for his family so his wife and baby can stay home together. I'm so proud of my children! I know you are too~ I love you daddy. May the circle be unbroken by and by, Lord by and by

Lori Johnson Rowley, Daughter of Sgt. James Johnson, EOW 11/11/04, wife of Lt. Jeremy Rowley, Forsyth Co. Sheriff's Office, NC

June 17, 2019

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